Author: Justin Mckibben
This Monday Christ Forester, the offensive line coach from the Miami Dolphins, resigned from his position after 25 years in the NFL. Forester was one of the highest paid assistants in the league, even though he only became a Dolphins coach a year ago. His recent departure from the coaching staff comes only 12 hours after a video of him snorting a white powdery substance off an office desk went viral.
So what does this recent scandal tell us about drug abuse?
A Social Media Scandal
The 56-second video shows Forester himself appears to be filming while speaking into the camera. During the course of the video Forester states:
“Hey baby, miss you, thinking about you,” he says to the camera. He says he is about to go into a meeting and is “doing this before I go.”
Kijuana Nige, a Las Vegas model, first posted the video on Sunday to Facebook. It has since been deleted. At one point on the post to the social media site, Nige had stated people were upset with her actions “like I forced blown down this man’s nose” with the term “blow” being commonly known as slang for the illegal drug cocaine.
Screen-captured images of a post on Twitter with pictures from the video also show Nige stating:
“Those are his habits and he recorded himself and sent it to me professing his love.”
Kijuana Nige also claims that she used to date the Dolphins coach, and sources indicate the video was recorded sometime this year.
The Football Fall-Out
Other parts of the caption in the comments take on a more political tone, as Nige talks about posting the video and exposing the Dolphins coach as a way to respond to the backlash against black NFL players who are participating in protests of police brutality on the sidelines of football games.
The video was posted the same day that it was reported the Dolphins head coach Adam Gase has made it a team rule that players are required to stand for the Anthem. Apparently, players who do not wish to stand for the National Anthem on the Dolphins team must stay in the tunnel during the ceremony.
In her social media crusade, Nige has also implied that she has other videos she could make public. She states:
“They better leave ppl (people) like Colin Kaepernick alone before I pick off more of’ em”
Of course, this refers to the 49ers former quarterback who was the first player to take a knee and vocalize his reasons for protesting.
Following the growing controversy of the viral video, the Dolphins coach made a statement saying,
“I am resigning from my position with the Miami Dolphins and accept full responsibility for my actions,”…”I want to apologize to the organization and my sole focus is on getting the help that I need with the support of my family and medical professionals.”
The Dolphins also made a public statement that included:
“We were made aware of the video late last night and have no tolerance for this behavior.”
“Although Chris is no longer with the organization, we will work with him to get the help he needs during this time.”
While the Dolphins made it clear that they had accepted Foresters resignation immediately, they still say are going to support Forester in getting help, which may mean some addiction treatment or other recovery resources.
Exposing Drug Abuse
Of course, this isn’t the first time some form of public figure in the sports world has been exposed for drug use. Even coaches in high school, college or professional sports have been caught from time to time in some kind of drug scandal. In some cases, it is performance enhancing. Other times it is the recreational use of illicit drugs.
However, this is the only time (at least that I have ever heard of) that a viral video has shown an NFL coach in the act of consuming drugs. So it is a unique case.
Yet, when drug abuse is exposed in the media it actually reveals the best and the worst of our reactions to issues concerning drug abuse and addiction. Some people will immediately begin to demonize the individual. But the better side we get to see is that at least the Dolphins franchise has said they will support his efforts to get help. In a way, a story like this points again to the very real fact that anyone can struggle with drug abuse. Celebrities, decorated athletes, and even extremely successful professionals can struggle with substance use.
If we can accept an NFL coach has made a mistake but is willing to step down and get help, maybe we can show more compassion to those around us who need help; maybe we need to have more compassion for ourselves. Either way, instead of stirring up more contention and controversy let us support those who need a way out.
In recovery from drug abuse and addiction, we are all on the same team. It’s easy to see how substance abuse affects more than the average individual. Even celebrities and professionals can get caught in the grips. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
Considering the NFL’s long history of prescription drug abuse, many were surprised to see a 60-second ad for a prescription painkiller product air during the commercial break. Though a potentially useful product, many argue the drug Movantik turns a deaf ear toward the nation’s opioid crisis.
The commercial is a bit strange. For one, it features a middle-aged woman carrying around an overstuffed suitcase labeled “constipation.” By her side is a sad human-like capsule labeled “Opioid” that shadows her like a concerned best friend. As the opioid epidemic rages all over the United States, viewers questioned if a cute cartoon advertisement for the opioid-induced drug Movantik is appropriate to air during NFL football games.
Fans saturated Twitter and Facebook last week with concerns over the message the commercial sends about the prescription painkiller epidemic. People are concerned that the cartoon is insensitive and may lessen the dangers of prescription painkillers by turning a pill that is abused by addicts into a Disney-like character. And unlike Disney movies, opioid addiction is anything but child-like and fun.
Here are some examples of feedback posted on twitter regarding the ad:
“WHAT THE F*** IS THIS TV AD CONDONING OPIODS FOR CHRONIC PAIN? F*** YOU #MOVANTIK”
“#movantik You should be ashamed. Animated ad for a drug. Woman carrying bag of shit. Promoting opioid use. #wtf “
“So when you made #Movantik were you just like “eh, someone else will cure cancer. Let’s fix stomachaches for people on oxy”?”
“I think national TV ads for people on opioids with constipation means we have too many people on opioids. #Movantik #TNF”
“Wtf america? So many people on opioids that it makes financial sense to advertise solutions to opioid-induced constipation?!?! #Movantik”
Those are just a few of the (very opinionated) responses to the commercial aired during last week’s football game.
So What is Movantik?
The drug Movantik (naloxegol) is an oral treatment for opioid-induce constipation that was FDA-approved in 2014. At the time of the approval, Julie Beitz, M.D., director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said: “Supportive care products such as Movantik can lessen the constipating side effects of opioids.”
There is no question that the drug was needed for many who suffer constipation due to opioid use. A commonly known side effect associated with the use of prescription painkillers is the reduction of the gastrointestinal tract’s motility. This reduction makes bowel movements difficult and results in patients straining to go to the bathroom. Often, stools are hard or lumpy, and many are unable to have bowel movements for days at a time. Movatik is meant to treat this condition.
The drug was developed at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, based in Wilmington, Delaware. Though potentially a helpful product, the company has yet to address the opioid epidemic that is affecting so many families nationwide. As a response, many drug abusers and addicts have vented their frustrations throughout social media.
Not to mention, prescription drug abuse is a major problem in the NFL. Just last year, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, Jovan Belcher, was found dead after killing himself and his girlfriend. An autopsy revealed the Belcher was abusing alcohol and painkillers to deal with the severe brain injury he had sustained during his career. Brain injuries and bodily injuries are all too common in the NFL and often players are prescribed prescription opioids to deal with their condition. Over time, some players fall into a cycle of abusing painkillers that leads into addiction.
As a result, the Movantik advertisement left many with a bad taste in their mouth who feel the company is placing profits over people. They are focusing on the side effects of drug use rather than a problem of addiction so prevalent, especially in athletes. Opioid addiction is no laughing matter. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Author: Justin Mckibben
From Mixed Martial Arts fighters and professional wrestles, to Olympic gold-medalists and extreme sports there is no shortage for stories relating to substance abuse on and off the field. Couches and players alike have come out once in a while to shed some light on their personal experiences with drug and/or alcohol dependence issues. Football has found itself in the spotlight before, and now another famous star quarterback has come out to talk about his history with drug addiction and how it impacted his career and his life at home.
Career of Abuse
Max Hall was born October 1st, 1985 and earned a name for himself as an American football quarterback playing college football at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. Then he was signed as an undrafted free agent to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL in 2010. In his first few months he quickly climbed the ranks from 3rd string to starting quarterback.
Hall was waived/injured on August 24, 2011, and was reverted to injured reserve after passing through waivers unclaimed on August 25. After being released by the Cardinals, Hall did not play professional football throughout the remainder of 2011 and all of 2012.
According to a recent interview, Hall said that his fear of losing his position as starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals contributed to him abusing painkillers, and in September of 2014 a drug arrest brought the former NFL player’s rising career to a screeching halt.
Hall spoke frankly this week with reporters about what led to his drug addiction, and ultimately what brought him to hit rock bottom as an athlete. Hall stated:
“I kind of lied my way through the concussion test and told the doctors what I thought they wanted to hear … because I wanted to play. Looking back, that was a huge mistake.”
Now, having completed rehab and began a transition back into his life Hall is using his experience to talk about his recovery and rehab.
At one point the up and coming athlete had a number of concussions and a shoulder injury, which led to him being prescribed Oxycodone for the pain. The world has been woken up in the past few years to the reality that these powerful narcotics have the potential to be extremely addictive, and have had a massive influence on the opiate addiction epidemic and overdose issue. Instead of using the medications just to treat physical pain, Hall said it became a crutch to numb him to his other issues, such as his fear about his career being over.
“Not only did it take away the pain from my shoulder, but it took the stress and the anxiety and the depression away,”
“I had just become the starter. I had just won my first game. I was afraid that if I told somebody, I would lose that.”
Hall tried to treat the issue quietly with help from a recovery program through the NFL, but by his own admission he didn’t pay as much attention to his problem as he should have.
The disease of addiction came rushing back to the forefront in the fall of 2014 when he wasn’t expecting it. Hall stated that he mixed some pills with other stuff that put him in a position that was “pretty tough and embarrassing.” And soon he found himself out of a job as an offensive coordinator at Gilbert High School in Arizona.
But luckily for Hall as bad as the bottom got, it wasn’t as lonely as it gets for a lot of addicts out there. At his lowest point he was fortunate enough to have former BYU professors and players reached out to Hall to help him. He said one day after coming out of his stupor and turning his phone back on he was contacted by a few individuals that huddled in around him and tried to give him the support he needed. Now Hall just wants to share that experience in hopes that his message can help someone else.
Athletes are put under a lot of pressure to succeed, even if it means overcoming injuries and persevering through pain by any means. But the sad part is, that can actually hurt them a lot more than it helps in some cases. Too many talented individuals are held back by the constrictions of their addictions, but it is never too late to change the play-book and get a fresh start. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
By Cheryl Steinberg
A Washington Post survey published in April of last year, found that, of more than 500 retired NFL players, one in four said he team doctors pressured them to take medication they were uncomfortable with taking. Players told The Post that they took prescription drugs on almost a daily basis, and frequently without documentation. Furthermore, nine in 10 former football players said they played while injured at some point in their careers, and more than two in three said they felt that they didn’t have a choice.
Prescription Pill Crackdown Within the NFL
Yesterday, Federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents conducted surprise inspections of the medical staffs of National Football League teams as part of an ongoing investigation into claims of prescription drug abuse in the NFL. The inspections, consisting of bag searches and questioning of team doctors by DEA agents, were initiated as a result of suspicion that NFL teams illegally dispense drugs in order to keep players on the field – a violation of the Controlled Substances Act – according to a senior law enforcement official associated with the investigation.
Rusty Payne, a DEA spokesman, confirmed that the investigation did indeed exist and said it was spurred on by a class-action lawsuit that was filed in federal court back in May by more than 1,300 retired NFL players.
In the suit, the former players allege that NFL team medical staffs regularly violated federal and state laws by plying their players with powerful and addictive narcotics, such as Percocet, sleeping pills, such as Ambien, as well as the non-narcotic painkiller, Toradol, so that they could play through their injuries on game days.
In fact, a Washington University School of Medicine 2010 study of 644 former NFL players found that retired NFL players misuse opioids at a rate of four times that of non-players in their age bracket. This was indicated by either overusing opiate painkillers within the past 30 days, taking these drugs without a prescription — or both.
Players described being given unlabeled medications in hazardous combinations – a practice known as “stacking” or “cocktailing” medications, teams filling out prescriptions in players’ names without their knowledge, trainers passing out pills in hotels or locker rooms, and medications being given out on team planes after games – while alcohol was being consumed.
Federal law states that only a physician or nurse practitioner can distribute prescription drugs, and they must meet countless regulations for acquiring, storing, labeling and transporting them. Furthermore, it is also illegal for a physician to administer or distribute prescription drugs outside of their geographic area of practice. That said, it is illegal for trainers to dispense – or even handle – controlled substances in any way.
The DEA official also said that the investigation will focus on medical practices amongst all 32 teams that comprise the league, including the possible distribution of drugs without prescriptions or labels as well as the alleged practice of drugs being dispensed by trainers instead of physicians.
Part of the driving force behind the DEA’s interest in pursuing such an investigation into the NFL is their widely-held belief that relaxed prescribing practices is one of the leading factors in creating addicts.
An official with the NFL said that many teams had met with federal authorities on Sunday. “Our teams cooperated with the DEA today and we have no information to indicate that irregularities were found,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement.
If you had at one time been prescribed powerful narcotics, such as painkillers like Oxycodone or Vicodin, and find that you can’t stop taking them, even though you desperately want to, help is available. There are many others in the same situation. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today.
Author: Justin Mckibben
So tonight the first NFL game is kicking off to begin the season, and already the scales are tipping and screwing everything up! A few players who have been busted recently for abusing drugs have just RUINED those oh so important Fantasy Football picks for a lot of us, and just demolished some score-boards. They haven’t even played one down, are you kidding me?!
Seriously guys, how is it that just as soon as the line-up is drafted and we have stacked our Fantasy Football teams with star athletes and fan favorites, some-body takes something they shouldn’t and throws our whole online strategies out the window?! Be prepared to grab your ‘handcuffs’ and switch around your reserve roster.
Thanks a lot Wes Welker!
The Denver Broncos announced this past Tuesday night that wide receiver Wes Welker would miss the first four games of the season after allegedly violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Reports pegged Welker’s positive test to ecstasy laced with amphetamine that Welker had supposedly taken during a now-infamous trip to the Kentucky Derby.
Welker said in an email to the Denver Post he would NEVER knowingly take a performance enhancing drug and called the NFL’s drug-testing process “clearly flawed.”
“I have never been concerned with the leagues performance enhancing or drug abuse policies because under no scenario would they ever apply to me, but I now know, that (drug-policy procedures) are clearly flawed, and I will do everything in my power to ensure they are corrected, so other individuals and teams aren’t negatively affected so rashly like this.”
Welker was reportedly enraged specifically pertaining to the report of him taking Molly, one of the many street names for MDMA. When Welker took the time to comment on these reports, he made a clearly furious statement,
“I wouldn’t have any idea where to get a Molly or what a Molly is. That’s a joke. I don’t do marijuana, I don’t do drugs. I don’t do any drugs.”
The only good news for anyone holding out hope of Welker being somewhat useful to the future of their roster is that he will be getting four full weeks to recover from his third concussion in three months. Let us hope for the Broncos sake Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer will step up in Welker’s absence, but if they didn’t make your fantasy line-up it wouldn’t make a dent.
Maybe next year Josh Gordon… or not!
Another first-string player who has just devastated the whole game-plan is Josh Gordon, an extremely talented 23-year-old wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns who led the NFL last season with 1,646 yards receiving despite being banned from the first two games for a failed drug test. It was already his second known violation as a pro, and Gordon said he had inadvertently taken codeine contained in a prescription cough syrup. Obviously anyone picking him up was playing with fire.
Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam stated that the team has vowed to do all it can to help and support Gordon. During training camp, Haslam said the team never even considered cutting Gordon. The Browns knew the risk they were taking, and so did any of us in selecting Gordon for our Fantasy Football league during the 2012 supplemental draft. The Browns had forfeited a second-round pick to obtain the speedy 6-foot-3, 225-pounder who already failed at least three drug tests in college for marijuana abuse. So we probably should have seen this coming.
The Browns learned last Wednesday the 24th of August that Josh Gordon’s indefinite suspension by the NFL has held up against his appeal, and he will miss at least 16 games for another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy for testing positive for marijuana. As a repeat drug offender, Gordon stepped up to fight these charges, and is now considering suing the NFL. Surprisingly as a result of this and other controversy currently posed against the NFL for their drug testing, some considerations are being made in regards to reforming the threshold for certain substances, and taking others off of the Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) list like amphetamines.
The fact remains that if Gordon was part of your draft, you’re going to need to take a second look at your bench, because he won’t be scoring any points for your Fantasy Football stats anytime too soon, but he may score a couple with those fighting for reform.
These are just a couple of the recently popular sports dramas that have unraveled the past month, showing how drugs are killing our dreams and every chance of victory over the online Fantasy Football league for many faithful fans. At the end of the day, what we are left with is the crippling anxiety of trying to replace those players with equally as awesome athletes before the first kick-off renders our teams useless. I only hope that these changes and court cases involving these suspensions are dealt with as quick and effectively as possible, or heaven help us, and our ADP standings.
Regardless of what team you play for, or how you feel about the NFL drug testing policy, it’s easy to see how substance abuse affects more than the addict or alcoholic. Drug abuse in any form has the capacity to harm more than just individual, and often times that harm stretches farther than we realize. This article may be poking fun at that idea, but that truth of the pain in addiction is no joke. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135